tv This Week With George Stephanopoulos ABC January 22, 2012 9:00am-10:00am EST
good morning and welcome to "this week." game change. south carolina shakes up the gop race. >> we proved here in south carolina that people with power with the right ideas beats big money. >> newt gingrich pulls off a stunning and sweeping upset. can mitt romney recover? is the republican contest headed for a long fight? even an open congress vengs. >> this race is getting to be even more interesting. iowa caucus winner rick santorum. >> three states. three winners. what a great country. and our powerhouse roundtable. with george will, ron brown from
the national journal and abc's political pros matthew dowd and amy walter. good morning, everyone. overnight, it is a brand-new race for the republican nomination. after finishing fourth in iowa and fifth in new hampshire, f m former speaker of the house newt gingrich surged to a strong win in south carolina. look at those numbers. 40% of the votes to mitt romney's 28%. rick santorum third at 17%. in his victory speech last night, gingrich struck a populous chord. >> the american people feel they have elites who have been trying for a half-century trying to force us to quit being americans. people completely understand what's going on.
it's not that i'm a good debater, is that i articulate the deepest felt values of the american people. >> mitt romney attacked after congratulating gingrich. >> president obama has no experience running a business. and no experience running a state. our party can't be led to victory by someone who has never owned a business and never run a state. >> yesterday's vote wasn't the only loss for romney this week. on friday, the iowa republican party took away his squeaker and announcing after a recount that rick santorum is the winner. we begin this morning with rick santorum. thank you for coming out this morning. third place in south carolina. you're going be facing right now enormous pressure from many conservatives to get out of this race so they can rally behind one alternative newt gingrich.
any chance you're going to buckle to that? >> no. lot of people are concerned about the choice between newt gingrich and mitt romney. not a choice between a conservative and moderate. a choice between a moderate and an erratic conservative, someone who on a lot of the major issues has just been wrong, for example, the government-mandated health insurance. the big bank wall street bailout, something that newt gingrich supported. sitting on the couch with nancy pelosi during a critical time when we were trying to fight off the cap and trade bill. immigration and the path to citizen ship. these are core issues of the republican base, where newt gingrich is absolutely wrong and by the way, mitt romney is wrong. and really the race is a three-person race and there's one strong consistent conservative in this race, one candidate that can rally the
republican base, one candidate that you don't have to worry about what he's going to say and do. he's going to criticize paul ryan's plan as right-wing social engineering. his campaign staff is going to leave him enmass. this is not the old newt. there's a big difference. >> senator, you have been making that case for some time now. looking at the exit polls coming out of south carolina, who can beat obama? there were a lot of 45%. newt gingrich got 51%. romney, 37%. you were way down at 7%. very conservative candidate, 36%, gingrich gets almost double what you got. if you're not winning among the very consecutives and those who want to beat obama, what is your rational. >> look, if you look at the numbers in iowa, they were just the opposite. the numbers in new hampshire, they were tilted in a different
direction. newt put his flag here in south carolina. it's a state that he knows well. it's a neighboring state for him. spent all of his time and money down here. >> i spent a lot of time in iowa. and these three races, in many respects, are debate more than the races going forward. now, we'll have time for the folks, we're going to see a very different dynamic. george, one thing that you know, if you don't like the state of the play of the race right now, just wait until the next race. we're going to see a completely different story. this idea, because one person did well, gingrich finished fifth and fourth. we came from single digits in the last week and really had a strong finish a good debate, we won iowa, we got really no bump from that because it happened the day before the primary.
there's a lot of races to go. we're going to florida and beyond. >> i think this year you're right. expect the unexpected. every single week. i take your point on that. senator, you started to make the case against the former speaker gingrich in your first answer that. if the debate on thursday night you said he was grand >> iose. >> worrying about what he's going to say next. >> you know, worrisome moment that something's going to pop and we can't afford that in a nominee. >> are you saying that newt gingrich is too unstable to be the republican nominee in. >> i think if you look -- newt is a good friend of mine. period. he's a good friend of mine. i like newt. he's a brilliant guy who has tons of ideas. the issue is discipline. the issue is leadership. if you look at his leadership, while he was in the house of representatives there was a conservative coup within three
years of him coming to speaker. eventually he was forced out, well, because of issues of being able to focus, execute, discipline, order, not taking, you know, not doing things that are coming out of left field. you see this repeatedly. this is not the kind of leadership we need to take on barack obama. we have to have a stark contrast. we have to have someone who makes obama the issue in this race not the republican nominee. if the republican nominee is someone that the obama administration can drop a billion dollars on ads on top of and make him the issue then we're going to be in tough shape to win this election. >> you like newt but you don't think he can be trusted with the nomination or the white house? >> yeah i i think he's a very high-risk candidate. i have said that from the very beginning. again, at lot of ideas. brilliant in that respect. as far as focus, as far as being rely on him to come out and
deliver that consistent, strong message and not undermine our folks in the house and senate, not undermine some of the basic things -- you know, 1i9ing on the couch with nancy pelosi is not a particularly solid conservative thing when you're out there, as i was, fighting this global warming. this is the kind of behavior that we can't have out of a nominee. >> what about mitt romney? he has the money and the super pac is already spending it in the big state of florida. take a look. >> barack obama knows four facts about rick santorum that you don't. he pushed for billions in wasteful pork. the bridge to nowhere. santorum voted to raise the debt limit five times. increase spending and debt by $3 trillion. >> i know your campaign says
that you like to live off the land. how can you compete with those resources in the huge state of florida? >> well, we're going to run everywhere. this race isn't going to be over next week in florida. not the week after when we go to colorado, missouri. this is going to be a long race. lot of opportunities for the rest of the country. why should three states decide who our nominee is? in this race it's not going to happen inspect this this race, we're going to have a long campaign. florida will have its say. nevada will have its say. i feel very, very comfortable as people continue to focus in and examine the candidates who's the best person to win? that campaign ad, mitt romney even admitted that that was wrong. the second part the spending, there has been no better in cutting entitlements and refo reforming, none of them were ever built. we go through this process to
propose things that here on the federal level and the state has a say as to whether they're built or not. this is the best that he has. let's talk about my record on social security, medicare we got the strongest record on spending. i'm anxious to match that up against mitt romney and newt gingrich. >> where do you plant your flag? we know that ron paul is going to go and play in those big caucus state. your state doesn't come up until late april, pennsylvania. >> to be honest with you, where do you get your first win? we were able to pull off a big upset. our feeling is, you know, we go out and compete. this is a long haul. we picked up delegates today. excuse me, yesterday. we're going to pick up delegates in the coming weeks and we'll have an opportunity as states in
this race evolves, we'll have an opportunity to win states. that's what we believe. we believe that our message is the best. and conservatives will increasingly to start rallying us. >> how big of a blow was yesterday to mitt romney. >> oh, huge. four days ago, george, he was 2-0, how about to go 3-0? in this nomination. he's now, i have beaten mitt romney. newt gingrich has beaten mitt romney. conservatives can have a choice. we don't have to rush to judgement. we can look at the candidates. the longer this campaign goes on, the better it is for conservatives and our party. we stay focus on the issues. the republicans are the focus. i know why the media would love to have this race over. they like to spend and obama administration, they like to
take aim at the nominee as soon as they can. i don't think that's going to happen. >> well, it looks like it's going to be a long one. senator santorum, thank you for your time this morning. >> thank you. with that, let's get straight to our roundtable. i'm joined by george will, barbara vanden heuvel, r ronbrownstein and matthew dowd. >> mitt romney looking to do something that has never been done. this week, something else we haven't seen before, three primaries and caucuses, three winners. >> the old pattern has now been broken. for five consecutive times beginning with reagan in 1980 candidate a wins iowa, candidate b wins new hampshire and candidate c wins florida. that's over. if you go back now to his 1994
senate primary, he's been in 25 races. his record is six wins and 19 losses. newt gingrich won it, it seems at least 26 counties. he carried evidently all seven congressional districts. here's what we now know, the big problem for romney might be his mormonism. that's not his. his problem is somehow his romn romneyness. people aren't connecting with him. there's something about him that is not connecting. >> i think the most -- the most consistent thing in this inconsistent race has been the mitt romney's inability to sell himself in this race. he came in this race as the
establishment candidate. he came in this race with the best organization, best campaign and best money. as we is seen this entire process unfold the problem has been -- maybe his mittness. he cannot sell himself as an authentic, competent conservative in this field. now he's back to the 28%, 25%. that's a huge problem. it's going be a huge problem in florida. >> he's bleeding. because he's not been able to deal with the tax issue, with the fundamental unfairness that he's an mri of and so amateurish. but george mentioned that we're seeing old patterns. that we are seeing old patterns. i think we are seeing truly old patterns emerge in this race. the surge of a street fighter. we heard very clearly in these debates in south carolina a
replay of a 2012 version of nixon's southern strategy. this playing on the racial grieve answers, attacking the media, attacking his otherness, this is very dangerous for the country. newt gingrich has historically very high ratings. you have a party of taking this country into a poisonous abyss. >> you brought up two points that really harken, two debate moments. i want to show both of them. the first one, with ron williams with fox after williams suggested that newt's talk about food stamps was insulting to after can americans. >> it sounds as if you're seeking to belittle people? >> well, first of all, the fact is, that more people have been
put on food stamps by barack obama than any president in american history. >> then the night line's interview with his former wife, goes right after john king of cnn. >> i think the destructive, vicious, negative nature of much of the news media makes it harder to govern this country. harder to attract decent people to run for public office and i am appalled that you would begin a presidential debate with a topic like that. >> and ron, we have been talking about mitt romney. we saw this week in south carolina debates matter. >> we saw the conservative opportuni opportunity. look, the formula that had been working for romney until now, to divide and conquer. he was consolidating the center of the party behind him. more than anyone was
consolidating the right of the party against him. that has broken down. strong tea party supporters, voters under 50,000, all strands the populous wing of the republican party, romney got up to 50% among them. that's a much higher number than anybody was able to get in iowa or new hampshire among those voters. even with santorum in there peeling away part of that vote, you have this coalition, downscale population coalition, romney is still on the upscale part of the party. >> he has to have that. he has to have the discipline. there's a reason why rick santorum came in and called him erratic and a high-risk candidate. what we have seen, while i think
it's true that mitt romney has had a problem being consistent from debate to debate from primary to primary. so has his opponents. that's why we have had three different winners. the other issue here, when we come to the issue of bain capital and the financial sector, and mitt romney's ability or inability to answer for it, it's not the prime it's the cover-up. the issue isn't bain. it his believable. the believability on the tax issue. that he can go up against bm barack obama and defend who he is. that's where his problem is. >> i think the issue is not mitt romney. coming back to this campaign is giving us an mri of the understoodmental unfairness of the system in this country. and the impact of occupy wall street and the 99% 57bd the idea of income e inequality has brought romney's problems.
his father never forgets, his father paid 37% federal income tax rate. we see the dissent. when mayor bloom berg -- >> let's go back to the debates and what we see in this process to me, i think from my vantage point some great developments in this process. first, debates matter. that's a big difference in our report. i'm going buy a much of media and therefore i won't have to have a conversation. debates matter. second, the idea that you can go and write checks to consultants and pay for organizations. we fired them all. the ones that have had the most haven't been the most
successful. >> it deserves a minor dissent. conservatives and republicans are generally saying, let's nominate newt, because for 4:30 of debates with barack obama he would be the best. we're talking about giving a guy nuclear weapons for eight years perhaps. >> i don't think that's why their saying that. what i think they're saying, what voters want is a strong, desoosive authentic conservative. what newt gingrich has revealed, in the course of the debates and what mitt romney has shown, mitt romney has shown, he's not a decisive, authentic consecutive. >> he has been consistently partisan warrior. gingrich that we saw on stage this week is the gingrich that we saw in the 1980s that's
connecting with republicans. i'll have a dissent though from amy, it's not only mitt romney's answers that are causing him problems. the republican party is changing. it's becoming more xwblue-colla. romney has difficulty connecting with those. he did much better among the better educated. >> as he moves forward, that tunessy is very challenging. newt gingrich beat him by substantial margin. >> ron is pointing to the republican base. in the 2010 elections, whites without college education, democrats got 73%. not professor obama is going to connect any better with the man from bain capital. >> that's thing about this -- this is why everybody thought
newt gingrich shouldn't be attacking bain. the people still thought that the republican party is based on wall street. >> while we're talking about the primary, mitt romney seems to believe it's his tax returns that's part of the issue. he announced this morning that he's going to release two years of tax returns this tuesday. amy, this gets to the question, you knew this question was coming all year long, yet you have seen a series of four, five different answers from mitt romney, now we know we're going to see two years on tuesday? >> he has to answer for them confidently. that see bigger issue here. he puts it out and then backs it up. the sense that there's not a core there, people can't hold on to it. listen, i think he can defend himself and his record and his wealth and his record on wall
street. but he has to look confident doing it. he has to look as if he can do that with barack obama. not just in the republican debate. >> last night, newt gingrich abandoned the job creation argument. his job creation numbers have been repudiated. his tax figures will now be raked over. this is a moment not of populism in this country. but he has now entered a moment which i think his team never anticipated. there was a smugness of being the candidate. that led him to be unaware of the mood in the country at the moment. a view that the elites in this country, that the government is rigd against you. you need to find a way to open it up. >> how do you explain why mitt romney is having so much difficulties with this issue? what is he trying to hide?
>> on the taxes? >> yeah. >> i don't know. we'll know when we get perhaps more than two years. once you start from maybe i'll release one year, i'm going to release two. what's in the third year. if you release the third, what's in the fourth? >> i don't think it has anything to do -- i have been with enough candidates, i don't think he has something to hide. what i think it is, a typical candidate that decides they don't think they need to do it. in 1994 he said i'm not doing it. in 2002 running in governor, he never released them. he gets in his head, i don't need to release them. that's the problem. >> i have to give a shoutout to one senior romney supporter in south carolina who said to me friday, he can release the taxes before or after that he loses the south carolina primary. once he lost they would come
out. where the taxes fall into a larger issue for romney is his eroding performance on that measure. he has looked so unsteady on his feet in the last two weeks. bizarre period through the fall and early winter, other candidates were jostling to become the anti-romney. starting that sunday before new hampshire, he has been in the crosshairs and he has not done well. he had a very bad week in ask zpk. >> they're banking on florida being the backstop. he has been working the absentees. the closed primary. jeb bush, i think the romney campaign have been counting on jeb bush giving him endorsement. he said last night that he's going to remain neutral. >> he's not competitive everywhere, romney. the silver lining for mitt
romney, all across the country this morning, people are waking up, running for office from dogcatcher to senate and they're saying good god, newt gingrich might be at the top of this ticket. >> we need to take a quick break. we're going to focus on where this republican nomination goes next. and a look ahead to the president state of the union address. finally that internet blackout this week that had the late-night comics buzz zblg competing with 7,000 websites that went black today along with craigslist and ev craigslist, i was unable to see any cats dressed like hitler today. that's when you hit the hardest. >> you may have noticed today that some of your favorite websites like wikipedi and re reddit have gone black.
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[ male announcer ] start saving now. move up to fios for our best price online -- $89.99 a month guaranteed for two years and get $300 back with a two-year contract. or ask us about the option of no annual contract. is change good? in this case, change is very good. [ male announcer ] visit verizon.com/greatprice. contact the verizon center for customers with disabilities that's verizon.com/greatprice. at 800-974-6006 tty/v. fios. a network ahead. we all know about solyndra, investors raised campaign money for obama. politics as usual. >> attacking president obama with ads that fact checkers say aren't tethered to the facts. america's clean energy industry,
2.7 million jobs and expanding rapidly. president obama. kept his promise to toughen ethics rules. in some states the general election ads have already begun. we'll get to that in a moment. i'm back right now with our roundtable. still a lot to talk about on this republican nomination fight. amy, we just talked about florida, this has become something of a must-win for romney. unlike these other states, whoever wins florida, even by one vote gets all of the delegate and that's right. we're a long way from 1,44 to win this nomination. mitt romney goes in with an advantage. their absentee ballots that he has been organizing. we have two debates before those primary ballots are cast on the
31st, one on monday and another one on thursday. we go back to where we started this whole conversation, debates shaping these elections. this is the issue here, there's a still a lot of baggage that newt gingrich to deal with. >> in order for mitt romney to win, i think the race will be tied by tuesday. i did a little math last night. if you take the demographics and newt gingrich gets xaktdly what he did in south carolina, he wins by six, eight points in florida. romney has to change the dynamics of this race. florida is constituted more towards romney than south carolina. >>. >> south carolina clearly tilted towards the populous side.
two-thirds of the voters were born-again christians in florida only 2/5. romney did, we should note, still win them in south carolina. nonevangelicals. despite a worst week than anyone had ever had. >> these candidates all across entitlements and mitt romney's signature issues, i think forget that social security and medicare are entitlements. coming into florida, i suspect that there are millions of americans including republicans as polls show, who don't want their entitlements taken away. but the debate -- we have been a spirited debate here about the importance of debates. and i think debates have mattered in this election which is great. they would matter a lot more if we didn't see these shadowy super pac ades. have to remember, they haven
unleashed on our landscape that have taken elections out of the hands of ordinary people -- >> one of the things that we saw, newt gingrich got hit hard on the super pac in iowa. >> i take an entirely different view of this issue. completely different view of this issue. i think everybody likes to say, wow, these super pacs, all of this money out there, they have very little effect in this race. over the last 15 years, it has diminished in importance. >> in the general election. >> barack obama outspent hillary clinton in pennsylvania, ohio and texas, on television ades and lost. >> this is the ground zero year for citizens united. >> you look at history. every republican who's got a nomination, every democrat, faces one bad week, the question
is, do they come back from it? what do you think has happened to mitt romney here in. >> i think it's better to have your bad week now than later. it's good to have a bad week. you find out how tough you are. i think there's a reason you play spring training games. this is still spring training. i think this unbalance is far from fatal. it will look upon on romney. >> is he still a front-runner? >> yes. if he can organize the coalition that's around him, that coalition is large enough to contest this for a long time. real quick, to your point about medicare, i was at a gingrich event, he was asked about medicare, he went through an entire answer without once
mentioning that he would convert the program into a voucher program. which is his plan. >> i want to bring up two issues, two points about newt and his baggage. the first, we asked this question in the last poll about a weeks ago, 23% of voters say they definitely won't vote for gingrich. the only person who had a higher number of that is ron paul. lower than that is romney. his past, whether a historian is a problem. >> one step, to begin where we're projecting florida, to me, the state of the union is beginning of the start of the general election in this campaign. it's reflective of a broad anxiety. unless you present a vision of the future in how to get there, which the president hasn't done
well. unless you present it, your open to people saying we need to go backwards. gingrich said there's a time in america that gives you a time of comfort and warmth let's go back. >> let's focus the question first on these primaries. you bring up the points that amy just raised. flat-out, he can't be the nominee of the party, yet mitt romney can't seem to get the love. does that lead to a situation where it ends in the convention? >> waes going to happen newt gingrich and mitt romney are going to pick up a vast majority of the delegates. you have a bunch of delegates and you have a bunch of delegates. you don't deserve to be president. >> the third candidate in the race, they're kind of bruce willis in the sixth sense, they're kind of dead but they're the only one that doesn't
realize it. he does. he can get his 15% or 20%. to leapfrog back over gingrich to become the dominant gingrich. >> the weekly standard saying, maybe a draft out of the question. >> we haven't had a second ballot at the republican convention since '52? in 1976, you had something like a convention that was on its'd -- >> ronald reagan. >> not a ratifying body. for the proliferations of primaries it's hard to imagine that someone is going to get 1,044 votes and win. >> once florida is over, we go to nevada and then we have this big gap, some caucuses in between there. we have a big gap. the end of the month of
february. one debate scheduled after that. >> matthew, you talked about the state of union. the president is going to lay out what he called a blue print on how to get jobs. the first blueprint of his presidential campaign. what do you expect to hear, what do you want to hear? >> i expect to hear themes that he sounded at his speech in kansas. make or break for the middle class in america. a vision for this country that's one forward-looking. that's tackling. not just the fundamental income inequality, movements that have brought to the fore but lays out the vision for a different e xhir. one this is not crony capitalism but democratic capitalism that lifts all. matthew is right, we're looking at a debate, campaign, election, that can be about two fundamentally different visions
of this country. the republican party wants to take this country back. >> george will -- >> the president needs to speak to that and lays out a vision. >> when barack obama comes out against crony capitalism, no more solyndras. >> we need green energy, george. >> i think he will attack china as a currency manipulation. he has to choose sooner or later, do taxes on million nars and billionaires begin with couples earning quarter of a million dollars? that used to be his position. most of all, he's going to campaign this year on his impatience with our congressional system. we can't wait. we have to somehow override the
structure of our constitution. >> is that enough for him given the fact that this is probably the most unpopular congress in the history of america? or do people blaming him for not making the system work? >> i think all indications that the speech will be a follow-up to the speech in kansas. it will be an economic populism that will contrast. you will have an argument of the populiup list argument. nonetheless, elites in washington trying to run your life, or economic elites giving you the shaft. it will give you a great fundamental debate. it won't decide the election in the end. >> barack obama's success, we have seen in the course of his presidency, never can give a
good speech at the good moment, give at good speech at the right moment and speticking with the message for a period of time so america gets what he's saying. >> they're kind of sticking with this. >> as of right now. >> one thing that gets lost in all of this, the ball and chain remains the housing crisis. one hopes in this speech that he'll lay out a fair invegs gags for the bank fraud. without a revival of houses and 10 million more foreclosures. he needs to put together -- he needs to call for a settlement. >> the president's credibility on this is so diminished. he has chief of staff that worked at citi bank. he's taken more money from goldman sachs from any candidate in the history of the united states. >> that's why we need to take
money -- that's why people feel this government is rigged against them. we need to get the money out of the system for both party and amy, on the other hand, he's coming into the chamber where's there's a fair amount of good economic news at his back. >> that is true. but i do think that the frustration that most americans are feeling goes back to point that, they want to see somebody who's going to do what he says he's going to do. he can't just say transcend all of this, they want to see actual, coming back for them, to them. they want to see somebody who looks more like a commander in chief. >> commander in chief. we haven't talked too much about yet, george will, president barack obama on time mag shean this week. he said that he can't wait until the debates with republicans. is this going to be a much of a factor in. >> i don't think so. americans and president politics
don't want to think about foreign policy unless they're forced to by bad news. what they want of iraq is out of iraq. what they want about afghanistan is out of afghanistan. >> it's not a plus for him you're saying? >> it's not a plus for him. since 1968, since the nomination of a government in 1972, the democratic party has been perceived as problematic on national security. i think he's largely immunized on that. >> one thing that we haven't talked about with this candidates there's daylight between romney, gingrich and santorum. they're all drum beaters for a war with iran. they asked how could this country, trying to extrad kate itself wars in this region.
>> there is no difference between romney's position on iran and leon panetta? >> i disagree. neocons took us into these bloody wars -- >> your point a moment ago, you know, while we're all focused on the republican race, the economic news that has come out in the last few months, if it's sustained may be shifting the ground overall in this race a little bit. barack obama was not jimmy carter he never fell out of contention. never fell into the 30s in his approval ratings. he's hanging around 45, 46, 47, if he gets an economic uplift -- >> this reform policy in economic come together, when you talk about iran, continue to tighten the sanctions, oil prices go up, you're facing $5, $6 gas in the summer -- >> that's the big problem and question mark that we have for
barack obama. he's not dropped below or at a level where he can get reelected this summer. if the trajectory is down he loses. if the trajectory is up he wins. they have no control over what may happened. >> saudi arabia, seems to be ready to supplement two million barrels a day to keep prices down and arguably help reelect president obama. >> this is fantastic roundtable. thank you all very much. 12 years ago that george w. bush accused al gore of fuzzy math. >> this man has great numbers. he talks about numbers. i'm beginning to think not only did he invent the internet, he invented the calculator. it's fuzzy math. [ male announcer ] you are a business pro.
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all year long we have seen the voters compound conventional wisdom. proving that one more time that campaign is lot more artist. they need a math degree to keep one campaigns. in his close-up this week. >> reporter: what's the single most elusive skill in politics this year? oratory. leadership? charisma? nope. >> it's math. >> reporter: really it's math. republicans and democrats do it. >> i'll do the math. >> reporter: if you don't do the math right you're in trouble. >> oops. >> reporter: because 2012 is the age of algebra. campaign of calculus. the great national contest of numbers. >> 9-9-9. >> reporter: 9. that was a good number for herman cain. but 15, problematic for mitt romney, especially when you're talking about a millionaire's tax rate. no wonder he has the cash to
make a -- >> $10,000 bet. >> reporter: how about iowa caucus, first in the nation, but last in addition. the only state that romney won by 8 and rick santorum won by 34. hope they did better on the verbal part of the exam. they're probably saying in the words of saturday night live -- >> it was my understanding that there would be no math. >> reporter: this there is math. there is always math. good math, bad math and -- >> fuzzy math. >> reporter: how you handle it can make or break a campaign. just ask rick perry. >> three agencies of government that are gone. commerce, education -- what's the third one. >> there's that number three. three agencies and three wives. considered a negative in the ger, through the little gingrich therom can he be turned positive. and for the obama campaign, none of these numbers have greater
consequence, 8.5%, the current unemployment rate. fuzzy or not, all of these numbe numbers, do add up to something. 1600, 1600 pennsylvania avenue. with the right math, one of these men will get there. hope he brings his calculator. that's my close-up this week. john berman. >> i'll be back to ask some of the questions that you have for us this week. first we remember and honor our fellow americans who served and sacrificed. this week, the pentagon released the names of seven marines killed in afghanistan.
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even an independent studio in malaysia can produce big-time blockbusters. transforming business through the cloud. that's what i'm working on. i'm an ibmer. let's build a smarter planet. finally today, your voice this week, where you get to ask the questions and i take a shot at answering them. first one comes from mccook's underdog. do you think that donald trump will be a third-party presidential candidate? i don't. he may endorse someone this week. interesting to see if big south carolina win for gingrich changes that calculation for donald trump. i don't think he'll be a serious third-party candidate. lots of questions about last week's interview with fake presidential candidate stephen
colbert. >> do you not believe that someone -- >> i'm asking the questions. >> bridget wonders were you honestly a tad irked at colbert last week? >> i wasn't mad at all. he was acting like a real candidate. i was doing if a candidates was there giving the answers. colbert out to make a serious point about those super pacs. finally today, george, what was the most surprising thing that happened to you during a political interview? so often these candidates come in so scripted. if i had to choose one this interview that i did with president obama just before his inauguration four years ago. we were in 20 minutes ago, in my ear i found out that malia and sasha who came to the interview, they were in the control room, they had a question for the president, they wanted to know
when they were going to get a dog. if you have a question, send it to twitter or abcnews.com or yahoo!. that's it for "this week." david mur has the latest heads lines on "world news." check out otusnews.com all week long from the latest from our political team. thank you for spending part of our sunday with us. i'll see you tomorrow on "good morning america." today, while our work continues, i want to update you on the progress: bp has set aside 20 billion dollars to fund economic and environmental recovery. we're paying for all spill- related clean-up costs. and we've established a 500 million dollar fund so independent scientists can study the gulf's wildlife and environment for ten years. thousands of environmental samples from across the gulf have been analyzed by independent labs under the direction of the us coast guard.
i'm glad to report all beaches and waters are open for everyone to enjoy. and the economy is showing progress with many areas on the gulf coast having their best tourism seasons in years. i was born here, i'm still here and so is bp. we're committed to the gulf for everyone who loves it, and everyone who calls it home.
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